Well, I finally got my mill completed and running. My table doubles as a table saw extension (my old table saw table was getting run down and there wasn’t room for both anyway). I expect I will replace that pvc wire management arm with one of those nice chain bits soon enough. The arm has a tendency to turn off the router if I don’t keep an eye on it. You can see my first two test prints, one on MDF and the other in acrylic. My biggest challenge so far is the z axis falling when the steppers aren’t engaged. I am thinking about just making an adjustable z-stop attachment that sits on the x-axis to help me zero out z and keep it from dropping and banging the tool into the material or bed.
In any case, I am so glad to get this running. Now to make some signs and such and pay off the parts budget.
In reading further in the forum, it looks like a better approach is to manually position the router with the knob then include a G92 at the beginning of the gcode. That way I can turn on the router and confirm operational depth before committing to the cut. I have been having problems with a tiny bit of flex (roughly 0.25 mm) in the Z axis when the plate is resting on the tool.
There will be some error in Z. When you’re carving pikachus, it will have a smaller impact if you use a steeper bit. You can also set the Z=0 near the middle of your work area to minimize the errors. If you’re cutting through, just add some Z and cut into your spoil board.
Chris Rodgers must be a very common mame, right? No chance you’re the Chris Rodgers I play pick up hockey with in Littleton, CO?
Oops. Sorry, I don’t read letters in the middle of words… I’m not sure how my friend spells his name, I’ve never seen it written down. And even if I had, I wouldn’t read the letters in the middle. :). I’m going to have to work on that.
Another good tip for engraving, if you’ve got two sections that are separate, you can cut them in different gcodes, and use a different Z=0 for each one. So if you had a pattern wrapping around a frame, for example, you could carve the upper left part in a separate file from the lower right. The errors in Z would be local to the upper left or lower right areas.